I Tried It: "Brow Mapping," The Hyper-Precise, 2019 Version of Microblading

Updated 09/20/19

@anastasiabeverlyhills 

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Megan Fox. I was 18, and she was the shining star of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (no shade to Optimus Prime). Everyone on Earth was talking about how beautiful Megan Fox was, but I could only focus on one thing: her eyebrows. They were perfect—arched, flawlessly symmetrical, and very bold. I believe this was the defining moment in eyebrow history that ushered in the transition from the thin, over-plucked brows of the 90’s and early aughst to the full, untouched hair trends of today. Anyone else seeking justice for Megan and her trend-setting ways?! Let me know.

I’ve never plucked my eyebrows, but they’re still uneven. “Brows are sisters, not twins”, my go-to eyebrow oracle in Silverlake regularly reminds me while trimming them, much to my chagrin. I’m okat with the theory that eyebrows can never naturally be identical twins, but I don’t even think my brows are related. Some days, I feel like they’ve literally never even met, never mind gotten drunk together at a family wedding.

Typically, it takes me quite a bit of time, product, frustration, and alcohol (just kidding, but not really) to get my eyebrows even. I strive to make them closer together, and the arches are lopsided, no matter what I do.

10 times out of 10, hair growth serums break me out, and there’s nothing worse than milia around or in your eyebrows. Microblading was always in my orbit of ideas, but a combination of laziness and Retin-A use inhibited me from ever diving in.

This summer, I’d been living out of my suitcase for over 10 weeks and I left my Retin-A at home. I didn’t make any effort to find it over-the-counter in a foreign country, and I was just fine.

Suddenly, it occurred to me: it’s the first time I’ve been off of chemical exfoliants long enough to consider a permanent eyebrow treatment. After weeks of Googling the latest techniques and practitioners, I found something that spoke to me so loudly, it may as well have been screaming my full name, social security number, and favorite movie (Cruel Intentions): brow mapping. 

before brow mapping
 Tanya Akim

Before Brow Mapping

Pictures of women with lines, dots, and ruler marks on their faces started peppering my Google images. I’ve seen the popular YouTube makeup hack of drawing on and filling in a unibrow, then covering up the middle portion with concealer to create the illusion of perfectly symmetrical brows, so brow mapping seemed like the natural progression of the zeitgeist.

After exhaustive searching for someone trained in the brow mapping microblading technique in the U.S., my prayers were heard. Enter: Peaches at Six+Ait Studio in NYC. A gorgeous, young, Korean girl born and bred in New York City, Peaches and I hit it off from the moment she said the words, “Golden Ratio.”

“[The Golden Ratio] is the mathematical ratio of 1.618 to 1,” Peaches told me, “It represents the ideal visual harmony and balance. It’s often used in design, architecture, and fine arts. Like the complex human body and objects found in nature, the ‘perfect brows’ follow the golden ratio rule.

During the consultation, Peaches asked me about my skin type. It’s dehydrated and oily due to extensive travel and lazy water intake. She reinforced the fact that Retin-A use is a big no-no for anyone with microblading because it changes the color of the pigment.

After our consult, I was ready to get measured. With a special ruler that looked like a combination of an architectural tool and medical equipment, Peaches checked the distance between all points of my upper face, brow length, nose, eye corners, and forehead, searching for symmetry.

“We create the new brow shape using a brow mapping technique,” Peaches said. “We use a string coated with wax from the brow pencil to stencil out the shape using golden ratio proportions to find the perfect brow for you.”

With all of the lines and measurements drawn on my forehead, I looked like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

brow mapping
Tanya Akim

During Brow Mapping

Once she showed me the alterations she’d need to create more symmetry, I was startled, and so excited. I began listing off everything I could do with my spare time now that I wouldn’t have to even out my brows every day. Those 10 to 20 minutes add up!

I was expecting the treatment to hurt, but I didn’t feel a single thing besides the slight stinging of color application halfway through the procedure. Everyone is different, and it’s worth noting that I have a very high pain threshold, but Peaches’ numbing cream really worked for me. 

Because there were areas Peaches microbladed that were originally hairless, she reiterated how necessary a 6 to 8 week touch-up would be for me, and she scheduled it before I left the studio.

BROW MAPPING
 Tanya Akim

After Brow Mapping

The following day, my brows were much darker. I followed Peaches’ aftercare instructions to a T, and by day six, most of the darker pigment had naturally flaked off and healed. I have multiple tattoos, so the aftercare and healing phase was easy and familiar for me, and I literally couldn’t be happier with my newfound symmetry.

A visit with Peaches will run you $800, and I guarantee it’ll be the best money you ever spend (apart from your monthly streaming service).

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